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Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover Discovery Published: 15th Apr 2020 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Land Rover Discovery
Land Rover Discovery
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Why should I buy one?

Imagine a Land Rover that has all the ability of the Defender but with Range Rover civility and character – and at affordable prices – it’s called Discovery. Launched 30 years ago, these are true Land Rovers and a good one may make you wonder what all the fuss is about that classic old stager as well…

What can I get?

There’s two generations and the earlier the car the more they are in character to the Defender. Initially the range kicked off with a three-door but five-doors are far more attainable. As the Range Rover evolved so did the Discovery resulting in bigger V8s and more lustier and trustworthy diesels. The first facelift occurred in 1994 resulting in a new grille, larger headlamps, additional light cluster in the rear bumpers and a redesigned dashboard with twin airbags. Unless you hanker for original classics, the Discovery II of 1998 is a far wiser pick as it is considerably improved all around, being in effect an all new design, aided by BMW. Longer and taller, it meant that the part time rear seats were conventionally not side-saddle mounted. Along the way there has also been an array of special editions including the Argyll, Aviemore (1997), Safari (1998) and the MM (2000), Adventurer and plus Metropolis (2002) and G4 Challenge (2003).

What are they like to drive?

Discovery is a successful mix of Range Rover and Land Rover insofar that it has the rustic character and flavour of the latter and yet is more civilised and less arduous work than any County or later Defender. Of the diesels, the TD5 is by far the best of the bunch, dishing out 136bhp and a hefty 221lbft of torque and in a pretty refined manner, unlike the earlier TDs, plus is well suited to an auto. But if you don’t mind the fuel bills then that stalwart of a V8 is still the supreme choice. Handling is good considering its 4x4 nature and sharper on the Discovery II. It’s a Land Rover, so of course it’s going to be superb off-road. On the Disco II there’s the clever Hill Descent Control (HDC) which makes descending slippery slopes child’s play.

What are they like to live with?

The versions tend to appeal to two different types of buyer. The earlier cars are generally bought by people who want to go off-roading, Discovery II is more likely to be bought by those who want to use their car every day. Prices start at around £1000 for something that’s clinging to an MoT and go right the way up to as much as £10,000 for a mint, low-mileage example with the right spec. Realistically, you need to budget around £5000 for a Discovery with a decent spec and around 70,000 miles on the clock. There’ no shortage of Discos so take time and vet well – condition counts over spec as too many are neglected and poorly repaired. Rust is the main worry along with off-road and towing damage. The TD5 diesel is better than earlier types and more durable. Disco II has self-levelling air rear suspension and airbags can fail. Replacements are available, many simply convert to a spring set-up. Oil leaks and electrics can be a nightmare to sort out.

We reckon

The Discovery not only makes a fine Defender substitute – it’s also far roomier, more versatile and far better suited for road use. But take care as there’s too many dubious Discos on the market.

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